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Save The Sound Expects Smooth Sailing For New L.I. Soundkeeper

The new Long Island soundkeeper is Bill Lucey, a native of Wilton who is a fish and wildlife biologist, a former commercial fisherman and an experienced advocate.
The new Long Island soundkeeper is Bill Lucey, a native of Wilton who is a fish and wildlife biologist, a former commercial fisherman and an experienced advocate. Photo Credit: Contributed
Longtime Soundkeeper Terry Backer, who was also a state representative, died in 2015.
Longtime Soundkeeper Terry Backer, who was also a state representative, died in 2015. Photo Credit: housedems.ct.gov
William Lucey is no stranger to the water. He was a commercial fisherman and fish and wildlife biologist.
William Lucey is no stranger to the water. He was a commercial fisherman and fish and wildlife biologist. Photo Credit: Contributed

STRATFORD, Conn. — Long Island Sound has a new keeper — Wilton native William Lucey.

On Tuesday, Save the Sound announced Lucey’s appointment to replace longtime Soundkeeper Terry Backer, who died in late 2015.

Lucey, a fish and wildlife biologist, former commercial fisherman and environmental advocate, said he’s pleased to come back home to Connecticut.

“The woods and the waters where you grow up…it kind of gets in your blood,” said Lucey, who has most recently been in Hawaii. “You never feel truly at home again until you return to your childhood habitat. A lot of progress has been made since I was younger, and I want to be a part of it.”

In anticipation of its upcoming merger with Soundkeeper, Inc., Save the Sound will officially introduce the new soundkeeper and christen a new boat at noon, Thursday, Aug. 3, at Brewers Stratford Marina.

The event is free and open to the public.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Bill back to Long Island Sound,” said Curt Johnson, executive director of Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound. “He has the passion, experience and technical know-how to continue Terry’s legacy by patrolling bays and harbors around the entire Sound and by acting as the Sound’s voice in Hartford and Albany.”

An experienced advocate, Lucey led a coalition to successfully contest a timber sale on tribal lands in Alaska, lobbied federal agencies in Washington, D.C., and coordinated the writing and passage of a 2017 invasive species bill in Hawaii.

Most recently, he served as project manager for the Kauai Invasive Species Committee at the Research Corporation University of Hawaii.

After three decades of conservation work across North America, he decided the time was right to bring his expertise back to benefit Long Island Sound.

In addition to regular patrols, the soundkeeper acts an advocate, organizer and resource.

Lucey will be backed up by Save the Sound's water quality team, policy experts, communications staff and environmental attorneys who enforce the Clean Water Act.

The soundkeeper will work for a new non-profit organization that operates as a subsidiary to Save the Sound.

Learn more about the soundkeeper at www.savethesound.org/soundkeeper .

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